Monsterful Monday: It’s all happening


The author with ferocious plushie monster

My silly selfie (with Kaiju) from day 1 of #radicalselflovejuly

It really is all happening chez Aubergine at the moment. The big news is that chez Aubergine will be moving, in more ways than one.

First, I’ve now got a job offer in Auckland, and will be moving by the end of the month (good thing I got started on the decluttering when I did!). And as soon as I can sort out the WordPress install (ugh, manually installing anything is  a pain), this blog will be moving to a shiny new site! More on that as it progresses.

But apart from job offers and the exciting world of technology, there’s plenty to be thankful for this week.


Now that Instagram will finally work on my phone, I’ve signed up. I promise not to bombard you with photographs of food or no makeup selfies. To get started with it, I’m doing Gala Darling’s ‘radical self love July’ project.  I was a little late starting, but right now I’m working on my positive graffiti- an excellent excuse for a yarnbomb if you ask me. But if you want to see it…you’ll have to come on over to instagram. You can find me on there by searching for mannersmagpie. Come say hello, so I can follow you.

Costume excitement

I’ve now got my characters for a couple of the games I’m in at the Chimera LARP convention, and that means costuming! To my utter, squealing delight, I’ve been cast as Miss Piggy in Muppets: The LARP!, so I spent some time online researching the perfect glamourous outfit for her. I finally found a glorious pattern at the library in a book called ‘Sew Iconic‘. It’s based on a dress worn by Rita Hayworth in ‘Gilda’ (I do plan on flipping my fabulous curly hair and saying “Me?”), but I shall be making it in hot pink instead of black. Then add some opera gloves, glittery shoes (I have a pair of pink glitter heels with ice creams on them) and a metric tonne of sparkly jewellery, and I’m most of the way towards channeling my ultimate style and self-esteem heroine. And I’m seriously considering going blonde for the convention…as I’m sure Miss Piggy would agree, one should never do anything by halves! The Best Beloved is playing Sweetums…cue jokes about the deliciousness of frogs legs and bacon. Speaking of which…

Bacon Jam

I know what you’re thinking. “Bacon…jam?” I only discovered this is something that exists a few days ago, just in time for a friend’s birthday brunch. Of course, I had to try it, because, well, BACON JAM. Think of it as more like an onion relish with lots of bacon in it, if the idea of it being a jam freaks you out too much. There are many, many recipes out there for it. The one I used is The Kitchn’s sweet and savory bacon jam (though I substituted brown sugar for the maple syrup, then added a 1/4 of a cup of maple syrup once I got the lid off the darn bottle… this is not the kind of jam recipe requiring sugar thermometers or anything like that, just time and patience and a good saucepan). You do need to add plenty of salt, I think. But it was a big hit at the brunch. It’s especially good served on split English muffins (especially if you can get cheesy muffins as we can here in NZ), with a good sharp, strong cheddar. Or in a cheeseburger as a relish. Or on scones. Or with cheese straws for dunking. Yes, any party of geeks gets experimental that way. Oh, and refrigerating it overnight makes it thicken and become beautifully unctuous and jam-like.

And special mentions

Patient flatmates putting up with the to-go pile o’stuff in the lounge, giving myself crazy manicures with Minnie Mouse pink and Tiffany blue nail polish, conquering the clutter in the craft room, Mollie Makes, talking to a friend via text about canonical vajazzling (yes really- it’s a Dresden Files thing), playing with filters on Instagram, #kissykissy, mulled wine, tea, and the excitement of new beginnings.

How about you?

Links of Joy: Fantastic 80s

It’s yet another wet, dreary winter Wednesday here in Wellington. To me that calls for just one thing: the neon-coloured hijinks of my childhood.

You can blame it on this list of characters who aren’t who you think they are -all the remakes of classic 80s entertainment. The remake of Footloose didn’t happen, OK? IT DIDN’T HAPPEN. I think as long as they don’t remake The Goonies I’ll be fine. *deep cleansing breaths*

ANYWAY. If you’re jonesing to look like you should be in Jem and the Holograms (and who isn’t?), you could do a lot worse than grabbing some of the gorgeous colours at Medusa’s Makeup. Such neon. Much glitter. Wow.

The Kitchn has this helpful list of 10 recipes that defined the 80s. Om nom spinach dip.

If you want an insight into 80s fashion, at least into what I thought fashion was when I was a kid, get thee a (sadly now out-of-print) copy of Freaky Fashions by Caroline Archer. I bought a copy at a school book fair when I was about 8 and devoured it. It’s got all kinds of clothing customisation ideas in it, as well as mad hair ideas (“I know this is in black and white but those fans of hair are meant to be sprayed in rainbow colours”. Yes really.) and 80s eye makeup. Admittedly it’s aimed at kids, but, well, it was one of the books that defined my crafty growth.

Obviously, music is important too. My friends Jenni and Steve and I are still planning to write a LARP set at a High School in the 1980s (because John Hughes), and I put together a soundtrack- 62 songs is enough to keep you dancing like Molly Ringwald in ‘The Breakfast Club’ all day.

May you have a purple-lame-rubiks-cube-duran-duran-filled day!